WIESBADEN, Germany (November 16, 2012) -- More than 2,000 Soldiers, Civilians, Local Nationals and Family Members came together in the Lucius D. Clay Kaserne Fitness Center and through video teleconference Nov.16 to participate in 5th Signal Command's Operation Solemn Promise annual commemoration ceremony.

Operation Solemn Promise began Nov. 17, 2011 with a kick-off ceremony at the fitness center highlighting the OSP theme, "A constant reminder of why we serve." The broader intent of the OSP initiative was to conduct a simultaneous re-affirmation of the oath of office to officers, soldiers and civilians and leverage the on-going Army dialogue on Army values to increase leader accountability and responsibility throughout the command. This year's ceremony built upon the success of last year's program in reenergizing a dialogue of the Army values and was the official launch of the command's portion of the Army's Profession of Arms campaign.

Brig. Gen. Bruce T. Crawford, commander, 5th Signal Command reminded everyone that last year he proclaimed, "for a variety of reasons, we had taken our eye off of the ball and allowed our standards to drop. Essentially, my assessment was that as leaders, Soldiers, Civilians and as dedicated professionals who took an oath to support and defend, that we had lost our way."

"Well, I stand here with you today to celebrate and commemorate the anniversary of an event that one year ago added clarity and purpose to an on-going Army-wide dialogue on Army values," Crawford added. "This event was designed to add context, and it helped answer the proverbial 'why' of the Army-wide discussion. The event's over-arching purpose was to increase awareness, responsibility and accountability throughout this command and this community," said Crawford.

Crawford said to the packed gymnasium that expertise, esprit de corps, trust, honorable service and stewardship of the profession are "not mere words to memorize or wear on T-shirts."

"As professionals you're empowered to add real meaning to these words," said Crawford. "In the end, when you get up in the morning and put on that uniform or that coat and tie, you're empowered to dedicating yourself to making a difference."

Command Sgt. Maj. Gerald L. Tyce, 5th Signal command, said, "We are fortunate that we can take time collectively to renew our commitment to excellence - our core values; our Army values of Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage." 

At this year's ceremony, 5th Signal Command renewed a commitment to the Army Profession to help address those areas where people struggle to maintain the highest standards, focus and succeed in an era of persistent conflict, maintain the best led and best trained force in the world, and prepare leaders for the challenges of tomorrow.

"These values are our foundation, our credentials and the building blocks of our standard and discipline. Today, we renew our commitment to the Army Profession," said Tyce.

"As an Army Profession, we're all individually responsible for developing and maintaining moral character and competence while realizing that being a professional is more than a job -- It's a calling to serve in defense of this nation," said Tyce.

This year's commemoration ceremony included member's of each group of 5th Signal Command's workforce giving a professional's narrative of their profession. It included Brig. Gen. Crawford administering the oath of office to each Soldier and Dept. of the Army Civilian. Crawford also thanked the local nationals for their dedication to the Army Profession and he led 15 future Soldiers from the European theater in their oath of enlistment.

Crawford ensured that each family member knew that the Soldier's foundation of hope comes from their love and support.

"You have endured every hardship, shouldered every burden and sacrificed on countless occasions….not because you have to, but simply because you care. So in this month of November, when our nation celebrates the Month of the Military Family, on behalf of our Army Leadership I'd like to pass on my heartfelt thanks for your passion and your unyielding commitment to keeping us all Army Strong," Crawford added.

Throughout 2013, 5th Signal Command will hold several events that highlight the five essential attributes of the Army Profession-- Trust, Military Expertise, Esprit de Corps, Honorable Service, and Stewardship of the Profession.

"As I've said many times, whether you are a Soldier or a member of what I call the 'quiet professionals' of the Civilian workforce, or if you support the United States Army or any of the Joint Force team, you're a member of what is consistently recognized as the absolute most respected profession on this earth….The Army Profession," Crawford said. "Finally, to the young officers, Soldiers and Civilians, host nation and Local National employees from Belgium to Germany to Italy, our future leaders ... I'm optimistic that the future of our Army is not only bright, but it's in your hands."

The official website for OSP is www.5sigcmd.army.mil/osp.